Post # 1
My fiance is divorced with a 4 year old son, and our son together with be almost 2 years old when we get married this summer. Our ceremony is at the same location as our reception and will be short and sweet. I am struggling with how to incorporate the kids though. They are such at difficult ages! And yet to not include them in a meaningful way just seems wrong. Any advice?
Also, we are planning a 5pm ceremony followed by a cocktail hour and dinner around 7:15. Our venue is not kid-friendly (an upscale restaurant) so we thought we would just send the boys home with a babysitter before the dinner starts. My future Mother-In-Law was upset about this. My thought was that we would be including them in photos, the ceremony, and the cocktail hour so they can still be part of the day and see everyone, but since they go to bed at 8pm, don’t eat fancy food, and we’re not having a dance, it would be unfair to have them stay for dinner and into the evening. Am I wrong? I love them DEARLY but also feel I know their limits (and mine)! But don’t want to seem like a bad mom/stepmom!
Post # 2
I would not bat an eyelash at an evening reception that didn’t include children, even if they are the bride and groom’s. Even your 4 year old stepson would probably not enjoy being up that late, dressed up, hanging out with a bunch of adults. Also, both you and your husband will be busy with your guests, so if there’s a meltdown, even if you had a sitter at the restaurant, it would be difficult for you to deal with.
As for the ceremony, the boys sound like a good age to be ring bearers, especially if the ceremony is not too long. If they can make it down the aisle together effectively, they will probably look adorable doing it.
Post # 3
You know your boys better than your Future Mother-In-Law. Not many children are at their best when staying up past their bedtime.
I think your plan is perfectly reasonable.
Post # 4
My cousin had her son (he was 3) walk down the aisle during the processional, with her mom. She couldn’t figure out how that was supposed to work. Groom walked his mother down the aisle, her dad walked her… so the mom was just kind of out there in limbo…. so this super adorable 3 year old got to walk Grandma down the aisle right before the bridesmaids.
He felt all important with his “big boy job” and Grandma was right there with him to make sure he didn’t turn into a hyper little guy halfway down the aisle.
I totally agree with the babysitter. It’ll already be a long day for both of them. Getting ready, super busy, sitting through a long thing being quite (and bored). They’re there for all the important parts (pictures and whatnot).
And I’m willing to bet that they’d be much happier at home with some mac and cheese and pajamas…they’ll be tired and bored out of their minds at that point.
You and Fiance know your kids and what they can tolerate.
I’d do the same thing. My 8 year old would be bored to tears sitting at some fancy restaurant, wearing itchy clothes, and listening to adults talking more than he already had. I can only imagine what a 4 and 2 year old would feel.
Post # 5
My kids albeit slightly older at 8 9 and 12 will be leaving the receotion at 9 pm the kids in the day aren’t invited to the evening reception so theyll go at about six mine will stay in so that the ending guests can see them then theh will be going with their dad as we want to let our hair down come night time. ceremony is at 12 so it will be a long day for them all. I don’t feel remotely guilty for not having them there in the night i want to relax and not be mummy just that one day. Im a uk bee so things are a bit different here but we are thinking of having the kids walk down the aisle holding a sign and maybe saying a reading at the ceremony
Post # 6
I like nicoalann:
‘s idea of having them escort their grandmother (or grandmothers if your Fiance won’t be seating his mum, they could each walk with one). If you decided not to do this, then I really don’t think it’s necessary for them to have any special “role” in the ceremony – they’re a little too young to do much else (such as ring bearers). When my dad and step mother got married, I was asked to do a reading (I was 17 at the time) but neither of my sisters had any sort of “role” (they were 15 and 4 respectively). No one batted an eyelid at this, at least to my knowledge.
Post # 7
Have your officiant acknowledge the children and the important role they play in your relationship. You may even want each child to be called forward and presented with a small gift to commemorate the occassion.
A more active role is risky given their tender years. Some small children cope witht the walk up the aisle and the standing still but others do not.
Definitelty stick to your guns about sending the kids home to sleep in their own beds. Thay will be tired after a big day and nothing will spoil your reception more than a pair of overtired cranky littlies.
Post # 8
It always cracks me up how the exact same people that harrangued us to go to bed on time are so cavalier about those rules when they become grandparents! Sometimes I look at my mother being all lenient with my son and go, “Who ARE you?! You are NOT the woman who raised me.”
Nothing to add. I think your plan is spot on. They’ll get to be a part of enough of the day that they will be in the pictures (which is great because years from now they likely will not even remember that they were there.) Grandma has clearly forgotten how sleepy cranky children behave when taken off their routines.
Post # 9
This made me laugh out loud – so true! Oh, how they forget! I appreciate hearing the support on this decision. Didn’t want to seem like I was excluding my own children from a happy day — but they will be at their max by 7:00 FOR SURE!
Post # 10
Also, thanks for the ideas on including them in the processional! I think having my fiance’s mom walk one of them down and my mom walk the other down would be really cute. They could even hold little ring bearer pillows or something 🙂 Hopefully the grandmas can keep them from running away or making a scene! I’m nervous!
Post # 11
My son was 5 when we got married. He was the ring bearer and wore a matching tie same color as the groomsmen. He loved dressing up like the big boys and being part of the whole thing. It was so special to have him there and playing an active role.